Here’s how to get out of the housing crisis, Boris!

first_imgHome » News » Housing Market » Here’s how to get out of the housing crisis, Boris! previous nextHousing MarketHere’s how to get out of the housing crisis, Boris!Nick Milton, a biographer of much-maligned Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, says our current PM could learn a lot from his time in office.Nick Milton18th November 20200610 Views This year marks the 80th anniversary of the death of one of Britain’s most misunderstood Prime Ministers, Neville Chamberlain. Remembered almost solely for his controversial policy of appeasement and waving his ‘piece of paper’ proclaiming ‘peace for our time’ after visiting Hitler in September 1938, there is much more to Chamberlain than is commonly known – particularly when it comes to housing.Nearly 50 years old before he was elected a MP in the 1918 general election, he came into politics to improve the dire living conditions of his constituents in his native city of Birmingham. There many of them lived in extended families in rented accommodation, often more than two to a room, in slum housing.In 1924 he was appointed Minister of Health, a portfolio which then included housing and one of his first acts was to continue with the Wheatley Housing Act of 1924 which had been passed by the previous short lived Labour government. This resulted in over half a million council homes being built in Britain by the 1930s, one of the biggest house building programmes of modern times.Unfit homesLater as Chancellor he passed the Housing Act of 1935 which made it a legal requirement for local authorities to identify unfit homes and build replacements before in 1937 becoming Prime Minister.  Chamberlain had big plans for housing when he came to office, but his time was soon dominated by foreign policy and the rest as they say is historyWhat can Boris Johnson learn from Neville Chamberlain? Like Johnson, Chamberlain found himself at the mercy of global events not of his own making which led to an economic depression. His way out of it was to invest in building affordable semi-detached homes, many of which still put a roof over the head of hundreds of thousands of people, particularly around London and southern England.This decade has seen the lowest levels of peacetime construction since the 1920s when Chamberlain came in and over a million people on waiting lists. As Johnson seeks to find ways to kick start the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic, he should take a leaf out of Chamberlain’s book and embark on a new house building programme.That means empowering local authorities to issue bonds so they can raise funds to invest in new homes, particularly for first time buyers and those on low incomes. Thats exactly what Chamberlain did and it worked helping to restore the country’s finances following the Great Depression. By being bold on housing Johnson would not only boost the economy but also make a reality of the Conservative slogan ‘We’re going to #BuildBackBetter.’Nick Milton (left) is the author of ‘Neville Chamberlain’s Legacy’ published by Pen and Sword. Negotiator readers can get a signed copy for £20 (RRP £25) plus P&P by contacting Nicolas at www.nick-milton.comRead more about the PM’s housing market plans.Neville Chamberlain’s Legacy Pen and Sword Neville Chamberlain Build back better Nick Milton Boris Johnson November 18, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

London agents facing CMP crackdown and fines of up to £30,000

first_imgTrading standards have revealed a London-wide crackdown on letting agents who do not comply with client money protection (CMP) regulations, along with plans to roll it out further afield.It has revealed that over 100 agents in the capital have already been investigated for not belonging to an approved CMP scheme, a redress scheme and for not publishing their CMP certificate on their website or at their offices.These agents have already been issued with formal ‘Notices of Intent’ by their local council, warning of a looming fine. Many more will receive similar notices over the coming weeks.Depending on their levels of non-compliance and prior track record, the agents involved face fines of up to £30,000 each.Mitigating circumstancesThe councils involved must now give the agents involved 28 days to explain any mitigating circumstances before a fine is issued.Since April 2019 letting agents have been required by law to belong to an approved CMP scheme to ensure that tenant and landlord deposits and rent are protected should a business fail.The enforcement operation is being run by London Trading Standards, which is a partnership between London’s 33 borough and the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team.It is being funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.James Munro, head of the NTSELAT (pictured) says: “Our officers are providing advice and guidance to support this landmark enforcement initiative, helping to safeguard billions of pounds of consumers’ money.“The intelligence gathered from this campaign will be used to support local authority investigations across the country, which will help protect consumers, raise compliance across the industry and boost consumer confidence.”A survey of agents published by NTSELAT two years ago found that 20% of agents in England were not registered for CMP.head of the NTSELAT CMP fines London trading standards James Munro client money protection CMP February 23, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » London agents facing CMP crackdown and fines of up to £30,000 previous nextRegulation & LawLondon agents facing CMP crackdown and fines of up to £30,000London Trading Standards says 100 agents have already been notified of potential fines with more to follow.Nigel Lewis23rd February 202102,388 Viewslast_img read more

Oxford pubs serve the most expensive pints outside of London

first_imgA pint costs more in Oxford pubs than anywhere else in the UK other than London, according to a new study.The average cost across Oxford for a pint is £4.57, second only to London’s £5.19.Carlisle was found to serve the cheapest pints, at an average price at £2.35 followed by Chelmsford at £2.60.The study, conducted by MoneyGuru, found that Edinburgh (£4.35), Bristol (£4.32) and Winchester (£4.30) also served some of the most expensive beer in the UK.A MoneyGuru spokesperson said: “Beer prices are a highly contentious issue in the UK with price hikes becoming more and more frequent.“At the end of 2017, the average pint of bitter rose above £3 for the first time in history, while lager now sits at £3.58.”The study also claimed that Dubai is the most expensive city for beer-drinkers in the world, with the average pint there setting them back £9, while at the other end of the scale, a pint costs just £1.17 in Prague.Last January, Oxford researcher Professor Robin Dunbar claimed that there are links between spending time at the pub and happiness.Dunbar said: “[My] study showed that frequenting a local pub can directly affect people’s social network size and how engaged they are with their local community, which in turn can affect how satisfied they feel in life”last_img read more

In Short

first_img== Subway on a roll ==Subway is on track to open 600 new stores in the UK and Ireland by 2010, with 22 shops opening their doors so far this year. The sandwich chain now has 1,400 stores, around 100 of which are in Ireland, and has announced it will need 7,000 full- and part-time staff to fill the new posts.== Tchibo sells stores ==German coffee chain and kitchenware business Tchibo will close its 100 coffee shop concessions in Sainsbury’s and Somerfield this year. It has also put the leases of its 51 standalone UK outlets up for sale, as the weak economy and the low value of sterling against the euro has forced the company to pull out of the UK.== Continental cousins ==Ingredients developer Ulrick & Short is developing a network of distribution partners in Europe that it hopes will push export sales up to 18% of total sales by 2013. It aims to link up with more partners who have a network of contacts in bakery.== Ukraine gas price up ==The increasing price of natural gas in the Ukraine could result in bread costing 5% more to produce there, according to the Ukrainian Agricultural Confederacy (UAC). A recent report stated that natural gas makes up around 7-8% of the cost of producing bread, but this looks set to rise to around 10%.== Malta helps bakers ==The Maltese government is helping bakers keep the cost of their loaves down by co-financing the purchase of equipment, publicity and marketing. Bakers’ Cooperative president Ray Briffa told The Malta Independent newspaper that government would provide as much aid as possible, but due to EU regulations, none of the aid can be made up of subsidies.last_img read more

A job for life

first_imgYears ago, it was newspaper printers and dockers who had a job for life. But from October 2011, it will be everyone.The government will abolish forced retirement at 65 and employees will have the right to continue working for as long as they are able. A test case said it was legal to give six months’ notice to employees to retire on, or after, their 65th birthday.This will still apply up until next October, so until then, give the employee six months’ notice in writing of their retirement date and, in the letter, give them the right to request to continue working for you any time within three months of receiving your letter. If you receive such a request, then you must have a meeting with them.My advice would be that, if you have got to the stage where you are giving them notice, don’t change your mind, because there will be no turning back in October. Then, the only reason to lose these employees will be redundancy (watch out for age discrimination) on the grounds of capability and it’s very hard to tell a sweet old lady who has worked diligently for you for 30 years that they are too slow or a disciplinary procedure.Gilllast_img read more

Press release: Government creates new National Institute for Health Protection

first_imgNIHP local health protection teams to deal with infections and other threats support and resources for local authorities to manage local outbreaks the COVID-19 testing programme contact tracing the Joint Biosecurity Centre emergency response and preparedness to deal with the most severe incidents at national and local level research and reference laboratories and associated services specialist epidemiology and surveillance of all infectious diseases the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards global health security providing specialistic scientific advice on immunisation and countermeasures I could not be any prouder of what PHE has achieved since 2013 in protecting the country from infectious diseases and environmental hazards and in improving the health of the people from reduced smoking rates to tackling poor air quality and obesity and much else. PHE’s work on the pandemic in the early stages and since stands testament to the professionalism and unremitting hard work of my colleagues and bought precious time for the NHS and government to prepare. It has been the honour and privilege of my career to lead PHE. Combining the UK’s world-class public health talent and infrastructure with the new at-scale response capability of NHS Test and Trace into a single organisation puts us in the strongest position to stop the spread of the virus. The fantastic teams in PHE, NHS Test and Trace and in local authorities have done so much over the past 8 months, and I thank them all for their service now and in the future. PHE has worked incredibly well with NHS Test and Trace, and with winter ahead, the life-saving work we are doing is more important than ever. The changes announced today are designed to strengthen our response, and to radically ramp up our fight against this disease, whilst also protecting PHE’s essential work beyond COVID that is so important for the nation’s health. New organisation to focus on rigorous science-led approach to public health protection Institute will boost UK’s ability to deal with and recover from COVID-19 and meet health challenges of the coming winter The organisation will be formalised and be operating from spring 2021 To give ourselves the best chance of beating this virus once and for all – and of spotting and being ready to respond to other health threats, now and in the future – we are creating a brand new organisation to provide a new approach to public health protection and resilience. The National Institute for Health Protection will bring together the expertise of PHE with the enormous response capabilities of NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre to put us in the best possible position for the next stage of the fight against COVID-19 and for the long term. I want to thank all my brilliant colleagues at Public Health England, the NHS, the Joint Biosecurity Centre, local directors of public health and their teams, contact tracers, diagnostics experts, epidemiologists, infection control teams, and every single person who has contributed to the national effort to get this deadly pandemic under control over the last 8 months. I would like to personally thank Duncan Selbie for his leadership of PHE bringing together 70 different agencies, pursuing ground-breaking work on tackling obesity, promoting health improvement and leading PHE, in what has been an exceptionally challenging time. I am looking forward to continuing working with him as a leading figure in the global, public health agenda. The NIHP will be a new organisation whose primary focus is to ensure we have the best capability to control infectious disease and deal with pandemics or health protection crises. It will take on existing UK-wide responsibilities and it will work with local government, the NHS and the devolved administrations to ensure we have the strongest possible health protection system for the whole of the UK. It will build on the existing strong working relationships between the 4 nations of the UK, including on data-sharing, alert levels and border issues.It will report directly to the Health and Care Secretary and support the clinical leadership of the 4 UK chief medical officers.The government is immediately bringing together PHE, NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre under the interim leadership of Baroness Dido Harding, with a single command structure and operating model to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.This builds on the joint work already being done by PHE and NHS Test and Trace, including the JBC, in response to COVID-19.It will ensure the UK will be in an even stronger position to deal with and further recover from COVID-19, the strongest possible position to meet the health protection challenges over the coming winter and be more resilient to respond to future pandemics.Baroness Dido Harding, Interim Executive Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection, said: The National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) will start work immediately, with a single command structure to advance the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.From today it will bring together Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace, as well as the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) under a single leadership team. This is the first step towards becoming a single organisation, focused on tackling COVID-19 and protecting the nation’s health.In order to minimise disruption to the vital work dealing with the pandemic, the organisation will be formalised and operating from spring 2021.The new organisation will support local directors of public health and local authorities on the frontline of the COVID-19 response.The responsibilities of the NIHP will include: Supporting Baroness Harding in her role will be Michael Brodie, who has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer of PHE. Michael is currently CEO of the NHS Business Services Authority.Duncan Selbie, the outgoing PHE Chief Executive, will be taking on a role as a senior advisor to the Department of Health and Social Care on global and public health.The NIHP will seek to learn from the best systems around the world and work with local directors of public health and their teams, to use their crucial insight and intelligence to deliver a world-class service.Preventing ill health and reducing health inequalities also remains a top priority. Over the coming weeks and months, the DHSC and PHE experts will engage on future options on decisions around the future of PHE’s remaining health improvement functions, including how to support a successful wider public health system to ensure we have the best possible capability and capacity to support people to improve their health.The DHSC will establish a new Stakeholder Advisory Group to provide expert advice from leading thinkers in public health, health care and local government.Duncan Selbie, outgoing PHE Chief Executive, said: Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:last_img read more

Kent bakery teams with Waterstones for book launch

first_imgCake business Bluebell Kitchen is producing 190 cupcakes in support of Waterstones’ World Book Day.Held at Waterstones’ flagship store in Piccadilly, London on 6 March 2014, Erica and Charlie Bell, owners, will provide mini vanilla cupcakes for every child who attends.The business has previously worked with Waterstones, providing 100 cupcakes for a book launch hosted by the retailer last September.Iona Dudley, fiction manager at the Piccadilly store, said: “Bluebell Kitchen was kind enough to provide us with over 100 book cover-topped cupcakes for an event with young adult author Cassandra Clare. Everyone who attended the event was delighted with the cakes, and the author, in particular, loved the extra effort that had gone in to them.”Founded in 2011, the business is based in Maidstone, Kent, and produces cakes for weddings, birthdays and corporate events across the south east.last_img read more

Treating depression in HIV+ patients improves treatment adherence, viral outcome

first_imgA team of researchers led by a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) postdoctoral research fellow and a Massachusetts General Hospital physician report for the first time that using antidepressant medication to treat depression among HIV-positive individuals not only alleviates suffering from depression but improves adherence to HIV antiretroviral medication and virologic outcomes.The study appears in the December 2010 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry. “The study’s findings provide concrete evidence for why there should be renewed attention to diagnosing and treating depression among people living with HIV/AIDS,” said lead author Alexander Tsai, a psychiatrist and Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar in the Center for Population and Development Studies at HSPH. “Our study shows that treatment with antidepressant medication can improve HIV antiretroviral therapy adherence and virologic outcomes.”The study, conducted in San Francisco, involved 158 homeless and “marginally housed” HIV-positive men and women, a population generally considered difficult to treat or study. Many had significant psychosocial impairments such as alcohol and illicit drug use, factors that often result in exclusion from most antidepressant medication randomized trials.The analysis was done among participants in the Research on Access to Care in the Homeless (REACH) study, observed between April 2002 and August  2007. The average follow-up time was 2.9 years. During the follow-up period, 38 of the 158 participants died and 17 were “lost” to follow-up (moved away, unable to be contacted, etc.). “During the course of the study, participants who were treated with antidepressant medication increased self-reported antiretroviral adherence by 25% and were twice as likely to achieve complete viral suppression,” Tsai said.“There is an urgent need for HIV care providers to recognize and treat depression among their patients or to refer their patients to mental health specialists for diagnosis and treatment when necessary,” Tsai said.Senior author of the study was David Bangsberg, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) physician specializing in HIV/AIDS research and director of the MGH Center for Global Health. The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley.–Marjorie Dwyer Read Full Storylast_img read more

Introducing Tactical Azure Stack for the Intelligent Edge

first_imgHarsh operating environments for both workers and machinery are one of the key challenges in the mining industry. There are still many incidents where casualties happen due to explosions, cave-ins and equipment related accidents. Workers are also facing regular risks due to the toxic operating conditions. To overcome these occupational hazards while maximizing worker safety and efficiency, mining companies are investing in developing smart appliances and systems that harness the power of the Internet-of-Things (IoT).“Connected Mine” is a well-established industrial concept that enables mining companies to infuse IoT within their operations by performing smart data analytics on connected devices at the edge. Worker safety and efficiency procedures such as collision monitoring, remote digging, worker mobility, and augmented reality simulations heavily depend on real-time analysis of a massive amount of telemetry data. This data is generated by thousands of IoT devices and analysed using artificial intelligence to aid in real-time decision making at a mining site. While the public cloud can provide the extensive compute power required for such advanced solutions, connectivity to the surface above and integrating solution components under challenging environmental conditions have always been a barrier for further advancements.This is where hybrid cloud solutions such as Microsoft Azure Stack come into play. As an extension of Microsoft Azure, Azure Stack provides many of the same Azure Services while operating in edge and disconnected sites. It can address latency and connectivity requirements by processing data locally in Azure Stack and then aggregating it in Azure for further analytics, with common application logic across both platforms. The following example is based on the Azure Stack AI at the Edge architecture published by Microsoft. It explains how we can deploy a trained AI model and integrate with local applications running in Azure Stack to provide low-latency intelligence.In this example, an AI model is trained using Azure Machine Learning Service and a Big Data cluster in Microsoft Azure. Next, it is packaged as a containerized application and deployed into an Azure Container Registry. The trained model can then be deployed to a Kubernetes cluster running on Azure Stack. After that, it is integrated with an Azure IoT Hub which receives telemetry data from Azure IoT Edge-enabled devices and the data is scored against the deployed model. The local application places any insights and anomalies from scoring into a queue, for sending to Azure Storage using an Azure Function. The solution in Azure will leverage the data from edge scoring to improve the model while retaining the globally-relevant and compliant insights in the global web application.However, this leads to the question of how to address the challenges described earlier with isolated and harsh operating conditions such as mining sites. An ideal solution would be to leverage the Dell EMC Tactical Azure Stack, a ruggedized and field-deployable product for Azure Stack tactical edge environments. It can provide an Azure consistent cloud to any operating environment with:Limited or no network connectivityFully mobile, or high portability (“2-person lift”) requirementsHarsh conditions, including those requiring military specifications solutionsHigh security requirements, with optional connectivity to Azure Government and Azure Government SecretIn our previous post, we discussed how Dell EMC’s Tactical Azure Stack offering can complement your hybrid cloud strategy with our unique features such as automated patch and update capabilities, PowerEdge hardware management, and integration with Isilon, CloudLink, and Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Today we are pleased to announce that the Dell EMC Tactical Azure Stack will be generally available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from March 22nd onwards. For more information follow Dell EMC Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack and contact your Dell EMC account representative.last_img read more

Profit ears

first_imgCorn farmers who want to improve their bottom line this year should attend the 2003 Georgia Corn Short Course Jan. 23 at the Rural Development Center in Tifton, Ga.Industry leaders, agronomists, economists, pathologists and water specialists will discuss topics focused on one thing: managing corn for a profit in Georgia in 2003.There will be a sponsored lunch and a business meeting of the Georgia Corn Growers Association. The course is sponsored by the University of Georgia Extension Service, the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Corn and Southeast Farm Press.Registration begins at 8 a.m. For more information, contact your county extension office or call (229) 386-3416. You can register on-line at www.ugatiftonconference.org.last_img read more